Actress, screenwriter, and author, Carrie Fisher died this morning in Los Angeles at 8:55 a.m. at the age of 60. Fisher was hospitalized in L.A last Friday, the 23rd after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to L.A.
In popular “nerd” culture, Fisher was most notably known for her role as Princess Leia in Stars Wars films, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. She was one of the original “women can kick ass ” icons, who reconciled the ideas of “damsel in distress” and “damsel can also dish out distress”. Within her role as Princess Leia, she exuded toughness, taking on Jabba the Hut and Darth Vader while still juggling problems of the heart, torn between Luke Skywalker and Hans Solo, but eventually ending up with Hans Solo (because, well, incest is not win-cest). Many of us, both women and men, looked up to Carrie Fisher’s role as Princess Leia because she was smart, resourceful, strong, and sexy. Those characteristics were not commonly portrayed by female leads and Fisher broke that mold.
Outside of her role in Star Wars, Fisher continued on to do creative projects that would span the rest of her life including television, more movies, writing- she authored 4 books including Postcards from the Edge (which she later adapted into a screenplay) Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, and The Best Awful There Is, and video games.
Even though Fisher was a huge pop culture icon, she struggled with very real, human issues such as mental illness and drug use. In her later years, she publicly discussed her battles with bipolar disorder and her attempt to self-medicate using substances such as cocaine and narcotic painkillers. Despite both mental illness and drug use being taboos that are rarely talked about, especially by the ones afflicted with them, Fisher was courageous and sought to raise awareness using her elevated status as a celebrity and icon. In 2016 Harvard College (Harvard University’s undergrad liberal arts college) gave Fisher its Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism for advancing awareness for these issues.
Here at Dorkaholics, we would also like to commemorate Carrie Fisher- for being a beautiful, Dork-tastic artist, activist and all around human being. When we’re covering our next convention and we see someone cosplaying as you (which we will, for years and years to come), we’ll pour one out for you. Long live your legacy. Rest in Peace, Carrie Fisher.
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